Monday, March 26, 2012

Things to Be Happy About...

For some reason this last week has been rather difficult for me.  I've been going through spontaneous bouts of self-doubt--especially with my writing.  It can be so hard to see the big picture when focused on the here-and-now.  I need to take a step back and breathe.  Will I ever finish this novel?  Yes.  Will it be hard to get there?  Yes.  

...Will it be worth it?  Yes.

So!  In the meantime, I am once more here to focus on the beautiful, the delicate, the joy that comes from breathing.


List of Happy Things:

  1. Music
  2. My wonderful and supportive husband, who always knows just what to say
  3. A clean apartment
  4. Creating lovely things using my hands
  5. Spending time with friends
  6. Being able to host parties--indeed, having a place to do so
  7. Conquering fears, one little step at a time
  8. Remembering that my worth comes not from what I do, but just from being who I am
  9. ...And the view from my craft room window:

Everything is green and lovely!
Buds on trees, beginning of spring leaves.

Take a step back.  Remember to breathe.  I am blessed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Revealing: The Language of Color!

A few days ago, I posted this teaser picture to represent my new line of hairsticks:

Oh my, I cannot imagine what that is!  *smirk*

I know everyone must be all a-titter, waiting to find out what that must be...  Unless, of course, you have checked my Etsy store.  I recently listed them there.

But, anyway, this is the grand blog reveal, which makes them special.  Without further ado, I present:  

The Language of Color!

Oh, look!  Roses!
Pretty spring-like roses, at that!

So, why did I name this series the Language of Color?

Well, you may be familiar with the Language of Flowers.  This language was utilized during the Victorian era to send coded messages through the use of various flowers and floral arrangements.  This allowed individuals to communicate feelings which otherwise could not be spoken.

While this nuances of this particular language have fallen into disuse, there are some symbols still recognized today.  Red roses imply romantic love; pansies signify thoughts; daisies represent innocence or purity.  (This is a fascinating subject...  If interested, check out the Wikipedia article.)

Anyway, when I was thinking about these hairsticks, I wanted to create something similar for the Landus Fantasticus.  

Similar, but not exact.  

That lead me to assign meaning not to the flower, but to the color of the flower.  For example:

Light Aqua means Hope.

Light Pink means Joy.

Purple means wonder.

...And Pink-Violet means respect.

The most exciting part of the Language of Color means that I can add more to this line of hairsticks and have them fit.  My goal: to have a beautiful bouquet of floral hairsticks, each with its own meaning in the Landus Fantasticus.

...What color rose would you like to see?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Word Art

There have been a lot of word-pictures going around the internet recently...  

So, not to be left out, I created one for my story!

For a better look, click on the picture!  :D 

Recognize some of the words?  You might.  That's because this particular story is not only my most recent novel, it is also the background for the stories that I write for my Etsy store items.

How cool is that?!

Do be sure to click the picture to look at it full size...  you can actually read all of the words, even the small ones!

EDIT: It looks like it's back to letting the picture be maximized.  Hopefully, it stays that way!

Made using  It's easy, fun, and most addicting.  :)

Another Sneak Peak...

Oooooo, look!

It comes in different colors!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sneak Peak

Want to know what I've been working on?


Creative camera angles for the win!

I have four new hairsticks that I am planning to post soon...  As soon as I have a wonderful story to accompany them!  :D

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blanket Lessons

So, I've been knitting.  

(Lest the jewelry/hairstick aficionados despair, I should also mention that I've also been working on some really cool new jewelry pieces that I hope to debut soon.  However, they are proving rather persnickety, and I'm taking a bit of time to tweak them until they are just right.  Stay tuned!  Hopefully there will be pictures and tales of victory to come.)

So, yeah.  Knitting.  

I mentioned previously that I was thinking about making a blanket--because my knitting momentum hasn't slowed, and there are really only so many scarves a lady can have.  

Or, at least, justify.  

(I can just imagine me squirreling away dozens of garter-stitched scarves... hiding them in my craft closet, so that no one can find my secret stash.  Because, if someone did find them, they might send me to Knitters Anonymous--or, at least, no longer allow me to go to craft stores!)

So, yes, in order to avoid owning more knitted scarves than I do clothes, I have started working on this:

And that is the beginning of my very first attempt at making a blanket.

The idea behind it is simple: I'm going to knit long segments, and then stitch them together to make a blanket.  It's perfect, considering my proficiency with the garter stitch, and nothing else.

Obviously, I haven't gotten very far into it.  Still, I have been learning quite a few things about my creative process through doing so.  These are things that I already knew, but are becoming increasingly apparent.

For example:

1.  I have a very, very, very hard time being random.

There, I admitted it.  The whole idea behind this blanket was that I was just going to choose colors and order them at random.  

However, I have found that I keep trying to plan color combinations.  Not only that, but I keep justifying that those color combinations are random.  Who am I trying to convince?  It has gotten to the point where I either have someone pick the colors out for me, or I just put all the yarn in a bag and pull out a skein--and force myself to use that skein.  It sounds so easy, but it has proven ridiculously difficult.

My brain is always, always developing patterns.  It's always planning.

So, in order to pacify my apparent planning OCD, I have allowed myself to do a few panels with a set color pattern--like the developing panel on the right.  Yet, I still want an element of random...  and so, I'm challenging myself to make at least half of the panels random.  And I'm challenging myself to make them all different widths, with the color swatches in varying sizes.

Who would have thought that random would be a challenge?

2.  I have a hard time just working on one thing.

I apparently bounce back and forth between projects like a ping-pong ball.  

This is true in my writing--I work on many different stories at a time.  And, even when I work on one story, I bounce through the scenes in non-chronological order--letting the story grow organically instead of lineally.

This is true in my jewelry making--I make several different pieces going at once.  And sometimes I go through different themes, too--working on Egyptian collar necklaces and steampunk hairsticks and Swarovski earrings all at the same time.

And, this is definitely true in my knitting.

For example,  while I was working on this section...

This is a completed panel that is

I had already started planning this section:

I gave in...  this section has a pattern.

And this section:

This section is technically cheating...
the gradation is in the yarn itself, so I don't
have to randomize a pattern!

And I had even picked out colors for this section:

Jewel tones!

I tried to call this tendency Creative ADD, but my husband terms it "having fun".  Honestly, I can't argue with him--because, to me, it is fun.

I just have so, so, so many ideas that I have a hard time keeping up with them!

And, lastly, 

3. I am overly critical of my creative work.

Now, I do not think that being open to "editing" is a bad thing.  After all, that's how we learn to get better--by accessing what we've done, and figuring out what we can change.  But being overly critical is not good for creative people--because creation can be sloppy, and it is hard to ascertain the beauty of a finished piece based on the first couple panels.  

When I started knitting again, I did so because knitting was a way to relax.  A way to revel in the beauty in imperfection.  After all, I know that I'm not the best knitter in the world--and that's okay.

But, as I work on this blanket, I have to make a conscious choice to relax.  I make mistakes--I go to fast and drop stitches, or I weave the ends in sloppily, or whatever--and I have to decide whether to let them get to me, or just enjoy the creative process.

And, I realize that the finished blanket is not going to be perfect.  

But, I also am realizing that--even with its ping pong creation, even with my apparent inability to be random, even with my overly critical inner-editor--the finished blanket will be awesome.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Things to Be Happy About...

I have been very quiet this past week...  I suppose I've been a bit too social recently, and have been needing some time to recharge.  So, while I am recharging, I thought I would once more make my list of happy things.

Things that Make Me Smile:

  1. Knitting projects
  2. A new computer
  3. A usable--albeit not perfect--craft room
  4. Fresh warm brownies, served with a glass of milk
  5. A chance to relish the quiet of everyday